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Sunday, 24 May 2020

Lemon Semolina Cake in Teacups / Egg-less and without-Oven

Suji Cake is a delectable Indian dessert made using semolina. An eggless butterless bake, this lemon semolina cake as the name suggests is flavored with lemon zest and lemon juice which imparts a lovely tangy taste to the otherwise sweet cake. This is a without-oven recipe as I have made the cake in teacups and baked it in a pressure cooker. One can easily slice the cake made in teacups or glass in roundels and serve them at kid's birthday parties or picnics. Adding tutti frutti to the cake is optional but it does make the cake more delicious and appealing. The recipe is very simple, easy to follow, and does not require any fancy ingredients. The cake stays good at room temperature for 2 days and up to a week on refrigeration.

Semolina Cake

I have been baking suji tutti frutti cake from the last 5 years at least once in two months. There are two reasons behind it. The first one is that it is my little one's favorite bake and the other one is that the recipe is super simple. You only require a mixing bowl to blend the ingredients at one go and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. You get your oven preheated by then. In the end add baking powder and soda, followed by Tutti Frutti, and pour the prepared batter in a greased container and bake for 30-35 minutes. The recipe is egg-less, butter-less, and very easy to follow.

Baking in the Pressure cooker:

I am dedicating this post to all my readers those who had been asking me to share the oven-less baking method for a long time. One can easily enjoy homemade bakes even if they do not have an oven at home. I can still recall how my mom used to bake the cake for us in kadhai when I was a kid. She used to keep fine sand at the bottom of a huge kadhai (wok) and cover it with a lid and preheat it on medium flame. The cake tin is then placed on a stand over the heated sand and then again cover cooked on low flame for 40-45 minutes. The same technique is used here. Instead of a kadhai, I have used an old pressure cooker and kept salt at the bottom before preheating it. Here though I am using a pressure cooker, the cooking technique is not steaming as no water is used. The cake is baked by a slow cooking method in a heated container in this method. To check the doneness, a toothpick or knife is inserted in the center of the cake. If it turns out clean the cake is done. If the toothpick is sticky and has batter stuck to it, you need to bake the cake for another few minutes. I have been baking cookies, nankhataii, and cake using this technique, and believe me it does turn out great. The gasket and whistle of the cooker lid has to be removed in this method. One can even use an empty heated kadhai, without any sand or salt at the bottom, with just a stand and a lid to bake cakes and cookies.

What goes into my Lemon Semolina Cake?

This lemon semolina cake recipe is adapted from my suji tutti frutti cake recipe. The first and most obvious ingredient is semolina aka suji. Fine semolina is used here. If you have a coarse variety of semolina, you can pulse it in a grinder jar before using in the recipe. As this is an eggless cake, fresh yogurt and milk are used which make the cake soft and moist. This is also a butterless recipe, so any non-flavored oil such as olive oil or sunflower oil can be used instead. Sugar is the sweetener used here. You can make this cake using jaggery powder but the color of the cake will be light brown then. I made this cake for kids so used tutti frutti in it which makes it appealing and adds a bite to the soft fluffy cake. You may use chopped nuts of your choice instead or skip it altogether. As this is a lemon semolina cake the mildly tangy flavor comes due to the addition of fresh lemon juice and also from lemon zest. Apart from this baking, powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt are used in this recipe. The best part about this cake is that all you require is a mixing bowl wherein you add semolina, sugar, milk, yogurt, and oil and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. Sugar gets dissolved in this time and the semolina absorbs all the moisture from milk, yogurt, and oil. Then you add the lemon zest, lemon juice, baking soda, baking powder, and blend the batter with cut and fold method. Lastly, tutti frutti is being added and the batter is poured either in a cake tin, muffin holders, greased glasses or teacups, and baked until done. Isn't it a very simple and easy recipe?

Related Event:

Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a gourmet Facebook group where a group of talented food bloggers from around the globe share their food recipes each week depending upon any one of the chosen themes. All bloggers take turns to suggest two themes each week and the theme that wins maximum vote is been finalised. I owe a lot to this food group and I am a part of this group from the last 3 years. So, far i have shared 148 recipes for this weekly event. Yesterday, we bloggers of Foodie Monday Blog hop had a zoom meet for the first time that we were planning for the last 3 years. When you have members from different parts of the world, most of them being working professionals, it becomes hard to fix a particular time for chat considering all the time zones and one's preferences. It was a wonderful session where we got to know each other and we just hope we could organize such meets often. Anyways, " Lemon Love" was the 148th-week theme in this group. It was Waagmi's turn to suggest themes this week. Waagmi is a professional food stylist and photographer and her out of the world photography speaks for her.  Check out her Kiwi lemonade if you are looking for some refreshing summer afternoon treat. I have also bookmarked her katori chaat to try out soon. I already had South Indian Lemon RiceLemon ChutneyInstant Lemon PickleLemon Crinkle Cookies and Lemon and Raisin muffins recipes on this blog so, I chose to bake this delectable lemon semolina cake in teacups for this theme. Do check out my fellow blogger's post for more lemon recipes.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4 teacup cakes

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 240 ml
  • 1 cup fine Semolina / Suji
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup tutti frutti
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Few drop so vanilla extract
  1. In a mixing bowl add fine semolina, milk, yogurt, sugar, and oil. Mix all the ingredients very well and keep aside for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile layer the bottom of an old pressure cooker with salt or sand and cover it with the lid. Remove the gasket and whistle from the lid. Heat the pressure cooker on medium to high heat for around 10-15 minutes.

3. After soaking time the semolina will absorb all the moisture and the batter may appear a bit thick. Add little milk if required to get an idli batter-like consistency. Next add lemon zest, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Give a good stir.

4. Next, add baking powder and baking soda to the cake batter and mix by cut and fold method. Do not overbeat the batter after adding baking powder.

5. Lastly, add flour-coated tutti frutti to the batter. Blend again. Fill the batter up to 3/4 capacity of each greased teacups.

6. Tap the teacups and place them on a rack or plate in the heated pressure cooker and cover the cooker. Bake the cake on low flame for about 30-35 minutes. To check the doneness of the cake, insert a toothpick in the center of each cupcake. If t comes out clean, the cake is done. If the toothpick is sticky cook the cake for another 5 minutes.

7. Allow the lemon tea cupcakes to cool down completely before demolding them. Now cut them into roundels and serve the delicious sweet and tangy lemon suji cake to your loved ones and enjoy a flavorful treat!

Recipe Notes:
  • A fine variety of semolina gives the best result in this cake recipe. If you cannot source it you may pulse the regular coarse upma variety and use it. 
  • The addition of tutti frutti in this cake is optional. You may add chopped nuts of choice instead or skip it altogether.
  • Do not skip the lemon zest in this recipe as it imparts a lovely lemony aroma and flavor to the cake which would not come from lemon juice alone. To make the lemon zest you have to scrape the thin outer peel of the lemon taking care you do not add the inner white part which is bitter in taste.
  • Do not overbeat the cake batter after the addition of baking powder and baking soda.
  • Jaggery powder can be used as a sweetener but the cake color may change.

I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

For more Lemon recipes, do check out the following from this blog.



  1. Awesome recipe We made it and really it was too good 🤤🤤😋😋

    1. Awee.. thank you for this wonderful feedback. Glad you loved it.

  2. I love citrus flavours in everything, especially desserts. This lemon semolina Cake sounds right up my alley. It looks so delicious and inviting! I'll definitely try this out - I have never baked without an oven before! :)

    1. Thanks Priya. Baking without an oven is super easy. I also love citrusy flavors in my bakes.

  3. I had tried one recipe I think I had made a mistake even the crows refused to eat it. :D so I had stated off suj cake. But now you sre tempting me Poonam for this is one awesome and delicious cake.

    1. I make suji cake often and trust me this recipe is infallible. Hope you try and you all love it as much as we do.

  4. Round cake pieces looks so beautiful Poonam. Loved the idea to bake in tea cups. I can feel the lemony flavour. Tutti frutti made the cake more attractive. I have made suji cake few times but never used tutti frutti. Next time I will try your version.

    1. Thank you di. You are right, the round cake pieces with tutti frutti look appealing. Glad you liked it.

  5. Poonam your recipe of using sand based baking reminds of my aunt who use to bake by putting sand in a pan and bake cakes. Your lemon semolina cake looks so soft and love how you used tea cups or glasses to bake them in.

    1. Using sand in kadai or cooker is one of the oldest method of baking without oven. The lemon suji cake does come out great every time. As far as tea cups is concerned, I used this method to show my readers that one need not have fancy ingredients or props to enjoy simple things in life.

  6. A delicious and lovely cake ! Loved your method of baking without an oven. I love eggless bakes and will try this sometime.

  7. Lemon Semolina cakes looks very inviting Poonam. For perfect cake recipes for beginners. Preparing cakes in disposable cups is superb thought, surely it tasted fabulous.

    1. Thank you Aruna. Do give it a try, I am sure you will love it.

  8. Amazing texture and it looks too tempting Poonam. Love the neat slices of cake. I am bookmarking to try sometime.

  9. What a beautiful those cupcakes are   nice use of lemon and suji in the recipe.

  10. The lemon tea cake looks yum , and making them in small portions is a good idea for kids parties. They are very tempting and eggless is a bonus

  11. ahaaaa !!! so easy and quick cakes that too without oven :)
    I love the lemony flavor baked dishes, this is for sure i am in love ;) perfectly baked ...

    1. Thank you Sasmita. Lemon adds a lovely refreshing citrusy flavor and aroma to the bakes, especially the lemon zest.

  12. Love these cute lemon flavoured mini cakes..so perfect for kids'party . these must be so soft and melt in mouth as these are made with sooji and yogurt..Lovely share.

    1. Yes Swaty. These mini cakes turned out super soft amd are hit among kids for sure. Thank you. Do give it a try.

  13. cute little lemopny cakes-bookmarking to try Poonam! at what temp would u recommend bakign this? for how long ? my little one would love to help me bake this (for herself ! lol !! )